Baingan masala, aka Brinjal masala, is a popular eggplant recipe from the Northern regions of India. This recipe is an adapted version of bharva baingan, aka stuffed baingan curry.
However, both baingan masala & bharva baingan are different. The making process is almost similar, but ingredients differ in both recipes. Let’s see what the particular differences are.
Baingan Masala v/s Bharva Baingan
The first & the foremost differentiation is the stuffing. In other words, the bharva baingan recipe requires stuffing masala into vertically slit brinjals.
On the other hand, baingan masala has no masala stuffing in it. So although brinjals in the baingan masala recipe are vertically slit yet, they aren’t stuffed.
Secondly, brinjals in the brinjal masala recipe need to be shallow fried. So, yes, first shallow fry your brinjals & then cook in the masala curry.
The process in bharva baingan is entirely in contrast. There’s no masala curry to cook stuffed brinjals. Instead, add cooking oil & water, cover the lid or blow 4-5 whistles in a pressure cooker. That’s it. Your bharva baingan is ready.
Now that we know the difference between them let’s show you how to cook. We will begin with the item list & then proceed to the making process. Here we go.
Baingan Masala Ingredients
- Brinjal – There’s a specific variety of brinjals that we need here. Medium-long brinjals with green & purple tint.
- Cooking Oil – We will require cooking oil to shallow fry & saute the masala. Hence, use regular oil.
- Cumin Seeds – It’s a regular tempering item that is readily available in your kitchen.
- Ginger-Garlic Paste – It’s in the paste form. It mixes well & adds the required flavours.
- Peanut Powder – Peanuts add creamy, oil & nutty flavour to your recipe. Don’t skip.
- Onion – The base of our curry is a combo of onion & peanut powder. Together they are flavourful.
- Red Chili Powder – A regular masala powder for colour & hotness.
- Turmeric Powder – For colour & flavours. First, measure & then add.
- Garam Masala Powder – The garam masala powder contains a variety of ground spices. It is highly recommended.
- Coriander Powder – Powdered coriander adds a light & sweet, nutty aroma. Hence, don’t skip.
- Salt – As per taste.
- Tomato Puree – The puree will help us make our baingan masala curry thick & tangy.
- Coriander – It’s fresh coriander. Wash & chop the leaves before you begin.
- Curd – This is our star ingredient. It adds a nice, smooth & creamy texture & taste. It is highly recommended.
- Water – Add water gradually. A little more or less will either make or break the recipe. Be cautious.
Since we have all the necessary ingredients, let’s start making it.
- Wash, clean & slit brinjals vertically.
- Roast peanuts before grinding.
- Grind peanuts into a coarse powder.
- Wash, clean & grind tomatoes to a thick puree.
- Gather all masala powders as per the measurements.
Making Dhaba Style Baingan Masala at Home
The recipe involves a two-tier process with some prior preparations. Therefore, without much ado, let’s cook.
Shallow Fry Brinjals
Add cooking oil & shallow fry brinjals on low flames. Keep stirring them to prevent them from burning. Add a pinch of salt. Just a little only otherwise, your brinjals will become too soft. Keep aside when they are properly fried. Proceed to the next step.
Saute peanut powder along with cumin in hot oil. Doing this will add a smoky & nutty flavour to baingan masala. That’s a treat for your taste buds. It’s like स्वाद जो रहे हमेशा याद. Further, saute onions along with peanut powder & cumin seeds. After that, add the remaining ingredients & saute them till they release the aroma.
Make Curry for Baingan Masala
To make thick curry, add cooking oil & tomato puree. Raise the flames & saute puree till oil separates. Now add coriander & curd. Mix well. Your curry is ready. Add shallow fried brinjals & mix one final time. To cook brinjals nice & soft add water and cover the lid & cook for 10 minutes.
Your Dhaba style baingan masala is ready. Serve with butter roti, paratha or kulcha.
Brinjal Variety for Baingan Masala
As I said above, we need a particular variety of brinjals to make this recipe. Usually, we use dark purple brinjals. But for baingan masala, we need greenish-purple ones. This particular variety is also known as the desi baingan in native languages here in Indian. Refer to the image below.
Surprisingly, there are more than a dozen varieties of brinjals cultivated in India. During my research, I came across the types of brinjals. Here’s the link for reference – India Gardening.
Hence, that’s it for the recipe today.
Try other variations of brinjal in the Brinjal Gravy With Coconut recipe.